STEVE Adey is certainly not the only artist dismantling the old adage that Edinburgh doesn't do contemporary music, but he matters more than most of them.

The six years that have lapsed since acclaimed debut All Things Real are partly due to his incredible three near-death experiences from a car crash and two rare illnesses, which might partly explain the record's themes of reflection, loss and untimely death. Recorded in an Edinburgh church, this is discreet, tormented music that bleeds together to the point that it becomes hard to recall where one part ends and the next begins.

The Blue Nile are the obvious comparison, given that Adey's voice has much in common with Paul Buchanan's and they share a producer in the legendary Calum Malcolm. The rich musicianship and bursts of noise beneath the surface also recall late-period Talk Talk; while there are touches of theatrical melodrama, low-level electronica and Celtic folk (including a cover of Alasdair Roberts's Farewell Sorrow). For lovers of adult night music, this album is an absolute must.

Loading article content